Anya Kamenetz

Study: Holding Kids Back A Grade Doesn’t Necessarily Hold Them Back

Our education system has this funny quirk of grouping kids by birth date — rather than, say, intellectual ability or achievement or interest.
But developmental pathways are as individual as kids themselves.
And so there’s a perpetual back-and-forth about whether to put certain kids in school a grade behind or ahead of their actual age.

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How Schools Use Brain Science To Help Traumatized Kids Heal and Learn

Neuroscience isn’t on many elementary school lesson plans. But this spring, a second grade class at Fairmont Neighborhood School in the South Bronx is plunging in.
Sarah Wechsler, an instructional coach with wide eyes and a marathoner’s energy, asks the students to think about the development and progress that they’ve made already in their lives.

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The Role Of Yoga In Healing Trauma

Missy Hart grew up in Redwood City, Calif. — in gangs, on the street, in the foster care system and in institutions.
“Where I’m from,” the 26-year-old says, “you’re constantly in alert mode, like fight or flight.”
But at age 13, when she was incarcerated in juvenile hall for using marijuana, she found herself closing her eyes and letting her guard down in a room full of rival gang members.

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School Bullying Is Down. Why Don’t Students Believe It?

Read this article if you’re having a rough day. This is a rare story about positive social change.

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Why Having One Black Teacher Could Help Keep Black Students In School

How important is it to have a role model?
A new working paper puts some numbers to that question.
Having just one black teacher in third, fourth or fifth grade reduced low-income black boys’ probability of dropping out of high school by 39 percent, the study found.
And by high school, African-American students, both boys and girls, who had one African-American teacher had much stronger expectations of going to college. Keep in mind, this effect was observed seven to ten years after the experience of having just one black teacher.

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A Surprising Explanation For Why Some Immigrants Excel In Science

Seventeen-year-old Indrani Das just won the top high school science prize in the country. Das, who lives in Oradell, N.J., took home $250,000 from the former Intel Science Talent Search, now the Regeneron Science Talent Search, for her study of brain injuries and neuron damage. In her spare time, she’s already working with patients as a certified EMT.

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How Socioeconomic Diversity In Schools Helps All Students

“Millions of poor, disadvantaged students are trapped in failing schools.”
So said President Trump at the White House recently. It’s a familiar lament across the political spectrum, so much so that you could almost give it its own acronym : PKTIFS (Poor Kids Trapped In Failing Schools).
Where there’s no consensus, however, is on the proper remedy for PKTIFS.

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What Writing Wikipedia Entries Can Teach Students About Digital Literacy

Fake news has been, well, in the news a lot lately. But for the world’s largest crowdsourced encyclopedia, it’s nothing new.
“Wikipedia has been dealing with fake news since it started 16 years ago,” notes LiAnna Davis, deputy director of the Wiki Education Foundation.

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What’s Going on Inside the Brain of a Bilingual Child?

Part of our ongoing series exploring how the U.S. can educate the nearly 5 million students who are learning English.
Brains, brains, brains. One thing we’ve learned at NPR Ed is that people are fascinated by brain research. And yet it can be hard to point to places where our education system is really making use of the latest neuroscience findings.

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3 Types of College Friendships That Matter For Student Success

Like many people, I absolutely cherish the close friendships I forged in college, nearly mumble-mumble years ago. But we rarely think about how these friendships might affect the path to graduation. If anything, students are typically advised to avoid social distractions and keep their eyes on the academic prize instead.

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